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Dave (Mudcat) Saunders Headshot

How Many Americans Understand Hillary?

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A note of personal disgust to Hillary Clinton's remarks concerning NAFTA in the Boston Globe:

"With NAFTA, Bill and Hillary Clinton really stuck it to rural America, Mudcat told me, though in slightly more graphic terms. So when Clinton visited the Globe this week I asked her about that charge...Clinton, however, wasn't about to get into a hissing match with a Mudcat. 'I understand politics, so I understand making charges, but I don't think the evidence is there to support that,' she concluded." Scott Lehigh's column, Boston Globe, October 12, 2007

Is there anybody out there who would dare question that Hillary Clinton understands politics? I certainly do not. I have never, never heard, nor will I ever, ever say that the Clintons don't understand politics. Everybody on the planet knows they are the standard of measure in the practice of politics. So you just read her comment in the October 12 edition of The Boston Globe, "I don't think the evidence is there to support that." To highlight Hillary's impeccable understanding of politics, let's move back four days to her statement in USA Today for the supporting evidence (from the horse's mouth) on NAFTA's devastation to rural and blue-collar America.

"I think we do need to take a deep breath and figure out how we can make it (NAFTA) work for the greatest number of people," she told USA Today. Clinton said NAFTA's benefits have gone to the wealthy and cost jobs for working people. Susan Page, USA Today, October 8, 2007

First, it is callous and offensive to the many Americans who have been "sucking wind" due to Clinton trade policies for Hillary to tell them "to take a deep breath." Secondly, Hillary, you want more "supporting evidence" other than your own statement? Top-tier economists, many who were tricked on these ill-thought, ill-negotiated, ill-enforced, and erroneously presented to Congress trade treaties, are now taking a second look themselves. Former Clinton official and Berkeley economist Brad DeLong, Clinton Treasury secretary Larry Summers, Nobel laureate Paul Samuelson, and a former vice chair of the Fed, Princeton's Alan Blinder, have all voiced strong concerns. Blinder has gone so far as to argue that off shoring and outsourcing of American jobs could ship away as many as 40 million jobs in the next two decades.

The reason Hillary is distancing herself from the trade treaties, rather than continuing to talk about ridiculous "unintended consequences," is because she "understands politics" like nobody else. In the early primary states, Iowa and South Carolina have lost twice as many jobs to NAFTA than they gained, and in New Hampshire, they have lost two-and-a-half times more jobs than they gained. The bottom line is that the Clintons did a number on small-town rural America and blue-collared workers everywhere. To get in tight with the big boys, they brokered a deal to trade local economies, jobs, and benefits (code word: healthcare) for Wall Street dividends. I think the greatest verifier to the validity of that last statement is on the cover of Fortune back in July. The headline over a posed shot of Hillary says "BUSINESS LOVES HILLARY! WHO KNEW IT?" I'll tell you who knows it. Many, many rural and blue-collared Americans know it. That cover is a perfect illustration as to why Hillary can not win the general election and why the collateral damage to the down ticket of her toxic coat-tails could cost us Congress. The question is not whether Hillary "understands politics," but instead, how many of us understand Hillary.

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